How many summer tournaments does Sundogs attend? Which ones? When are they?
Sundogs attends tournaments in Edmonton each summer with the number increasing as the players get older. There are no tournaments for U5 or U7, U9 have 1 tournament each summer and U11 to U17 have two tournaments.
The first tournament is late May or early June. We try to choose a tournament that does not conflict with the NWT Track and Field Championships. We go back and forth between the Slurpee Cup or the Summer Sizzler depending upon which week the track and field meet is being held.
The second tournament is in mid-July and we usually always attend the Spruce Grove Moon Day tournament.
Does Sundogs attend winter indoor tournaments?
We have not yet but we are going to look at the possibility of attending a winter tournament in the winter 2020/21 season, likely late February. Players have been requesting this opportunity as an event to work towards during the winter.
Why does Sundogs travel to tournaments?
Players (and the coaches!) can make huge developmental improvements from participation in southern tournaments. The level of competitiveness can be very hard to replicate in Yellowknife either in team scrimmages or at various events in the NWT. In addition to the developmental improvements, it is important for our players to see what other players their ages can do. Yellowknife athletes can easily become victim to the "big fish, small pond" effect if they do not see and compete outside of Yellowknife and the NWT.
When Sundogs attends these tournaments we try to compete at the highest level possible based upon our assessment of each particular team's ability. We are frequently playing Tier 1 and Tier 2 teams (AAA and AA for those of you more familiar with hockey). We purposely do not put our teams in tournaments at tiers at which they will win all of their games (even though we could). When we go south, we want our players and teams to be pushed so that they can develop their physical, mental and emotional abilities to the maximum extent. Winning all of our games does not achieve that goal.